Cop acquitted of Charamba insult

Cop acquitted of Charamba insult
Published: 23 January 2018 (279 Views)
A 38-year-old police officer who was being accused of insulting chief police spokeswoman Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba by labelling her an "idiot," is now a free man after a Harare magistrate cleared him of any wrongdoing.

Through his lawyer Mr Arshiel Mugiya of Mugiya and Macharaga legal practitioners, Assistant Inspector James Mabasa successfully applied for discharge at the close of the State's case.

The police disciplinary hearing committee also withdrew charges against him after plea, following Mr Mugiya's objection that the evidence they intended to rely on was not admissible in any court, saying the messages were not authenticated by the service provider of WhatsApp.

Magistrate Ms Josephine Sande accepted Mabasa's argument that the State failed to prove a prima facie case against him and ruled that he was entitled to an acquittal. Ms Sande added that there was no evidence indicating that the message pointed at Snr Asst Comm Charamba.

She also concurred with Mr Mugiya's submission that the manner in which the police confiscated Mabasa's cellphone was illegal and that there was intrusion to his right to privacy because the message was sent on a private platform.

Mabasa, who is based at Police General Headquarters (PGHQ), was accused of making the remarks on a WhatsApp platform sometime in May last year. The message read: "The police used to hold meetings with magistrates and other law enforcement stakeholders to map a way forward, reducing lawlessness, but now it's the other way round, the public have meetings with lawyers on ways to disregard police.

"The public relations office is headed by an idiot, who doesn't know that she has to encourage the public to be compliant to the police."

In her testimony during trial, Snr Asst Comm Charamba maintained that the offensive message was directed at her as the head of Press and Public Relations department.

She also said that she was the only female leader in that department, hence by saying "she" in the message, Mabasa referred to her. When the trial opened, Mabasa denied the allegations, saying he was not the one who authored the said message.

- the herald

Tags: Charamba, Insult, Court,
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